Updated: January 22, 2022 6:09:39 pm
Senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today declared that she is the face of the party in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh but remained evasive on whether she would contest the upcoming Assembly polls. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav have already decided to contest the elections.
Asked who would be the Congress’s face in UP, Vadra said, “Aapko kisi aur ka chehra dikh raha hai Congress party ki taraf se? To phir…Dikh tho raha hai na sab jagah mera chehra.” (Are you seeing any other Congress leader’s face…it is only my face being seen everywhere in UP.)
On whether she would fight the polls and what would be her constituency, Vadra said, “When it is decided, you will get to know. We haven’t made a decision on it yet.”
Vadra, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in charge of UP, and top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were speaking to reporters after releasing the party’s “Youth Manifesto” for UP elections, which outlined its strategy for creation of jobs for youths if voted to power in the state.
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Asked whether the Congress will be open to tying up with other Opposition parties after elections in the event of a hung Assembly, Vadra said, “If such circumstances arise and in the event that they do, we would be open to considering that. I would say that if such a situation arises then we would certainly want our agenda for the youth and for women to be fulfilled if we are going to be part of any such dispensation.”
Rahul said the document gave details about the Congress party’s strategy for creation of jobs for youths in UP. “How we will give jobs to you. We are not simply saying that we will give 10 lakh jobs, 20 lakh jobs…40 lakh jobs…but we have outlined how we will give it to you. In Uttar Pradesh, on an average 880 people lose their jobs every day. In the last five years of BJP rule, around 16 lakh people have lost their jobs. Remember the Prime Minister had promised creation of 2 crore jobs every year,” he said.
“We don’t spread hatred. We unite people. We want to draw on the confidence of the youth…their strength to build a new Uttar Pradesh,” said the Congress leader.
Rahul also said the people of UP as well as India needed a new vision and argued that only the Congress can give that vision. “Smaller parties can’t do that. And the BJP’s vision is not the country’s vision,” he said. “India requires a new vision. The vision that was proposed by the BJP in 2014 has completely failed. It is a disaster. And it is turning our demographic dividend into a demographic disaster.…If you look at India and if you want to propose a new vision to India, you have to start in UP. Every state is important. But UP occupies a weight that no other state occupies. So, we are proposing a new way of doing things…a new imagination for UP,” he added.
Elaborating on the party’s “Youth Manifesto”, Vadra said the Congress, if voted to power, will give 20 lakh government jobs. She said vacant government posts will be filled up. For instance, there are 1.5 lakh vacancies of teachers in primary schools, 38,000 in secondary schools and 8000 in higher educational institutions, which will be filled up, she pledged.
“Similarly, 6000 posts of doctors are vacant. There are 1 lakh vacancies in the police department. Posts of 20,000 anganwadi workers and 27,000 helpers are lying vacant, which will be filled up. 2000 Sanskrit teachers, 32,000 physical education teachers, 4000 Urdu teachers…all these posts will be filled up,” she said.
Vadra also said the Congress will relax the “one product, one district policy” if it gets people’s mandate to rule UP. “Wherever there are over 100 units of the same industry, we will declare them as clusters, and all facilities will be given to promote the industry with specific focus on youth.”
“We will waive off fees levied for filling up forms for appearing for competitive examinations, we will make travel free for those appearing for the examinations. We will draw up a job calendar, which will have the dates of the examinations, interview, results and appointment. There will be provision for imposition of penalty for violation of the calendar. And there will be strong punishment if there is a leak in the examination paper,” Vadra asserted.
She said the Congress will increase UP’s education budget, upgrade facilities in schools and universities, set up placement cells in universities and put in place a single window scholarship portal for seamless distribution of scholarships.
“A Youth Festival will be held every year at a very large scale…an international-level cricket academy and a sports academy with headquarters in Lucknow and centres in different zones will be set up to promote local sports,” she added.
Highlights of Congress’s ‘Youth Manifesto’ for UP polls
Congress promises to provide 20 lakh government jobs in UP if voted to power in the upcoming state Assembly polls.
Pledges to fill up vacant government posts including 1.5 lakh vacancies of teachers in primary schools, 38,000 in secondary schools and 8000 in higher educational institutions; 2000 vacant posts of Sanskrit teachers, 32,000 physical education teachers and 4000 Urdu teachers; 6000 vacant posts of doctors; 1 lakh vacancies in the police department; and 20,000 vacant posts of anganwadi workers and 27,000 helpers.
Congress will relax ‘one product, one district policy’; wherever there are over 100 units of the same industry, it will declare them as clusters
Party pledges to waive fees levied for filling up forms for appearing for competitive exams; will make travel free for appearing for exams; draw up a job calendar. Proposes strong punishment for exam paper leak.
Congress will increase UP’s education budget, upgrade facilities in schools and universities, set up placement cells in varsities and put in place a single window scholarship portal for distribution of scholarships.
Proposes an annual Youth Festival, an international-level cricket academy, and a sports academy with headquarters in Lucknow and centres in different zones.
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